According to CNN ChatGPT 3.5 is smart enough to pass prestigious graduate-level exams and has the same level as a C+ law student. According to enjuris.com ChatGPT 4 scored 298-400 on the uniform bar exam, putting it in the 90th percentile and it scored 163 on the LSAT exam putting it in the 88th percentile. These aren't bad scores and it suggests that ChatGPT has atleast a basic understanding of law.

I need to write a provisional patent application for a very simple invention that is easy to manufacture. If I make and file it myself it only costs me 150 EUR.

Is it safe to let ChatGPT4 write the PPA for me? I will not tell ChatGPT the actual names of the ingredients used (its a bug repellent), instead I will refer to all substances with a simple letter and change the letters with the actual substance names once ChatGPT has made the PPA for me.

Is it ok to let ChatGPT4 do this, considering it performs well on the LSAT and UBE?

2 Answers 2


I am not a lawyer. Based on what I know of ChatGPT, I wouldn't expect it to draft an adequate provisional application. For one thing ChatGPT works best when it is trained on the specifics of the query. A new invention, by definition, wouldn't be within the training set. There is also the propensity for AIs to make up stuff. There is the example of a lawyer who used ChatGPT to do some legal research for a court filing and is now fighting to avoid being disciplined. In addition, a patent attorney has a lot of knowledge beyond what is covered by the LSAT or bar exam including specific technical education.

That said, a provisional application isn't examined. As long as you meet the requirements and adequately describe the invention it may suffice. Perhaps you could try using ChatGPT to generate a first draft then edit as needed to get it to make sense for your use. ChatGPT is unlikely to create figures so you'll need to do those too. I absolutely would not rely on an AI tool to draft the non-provisional application.

  • I agree with your last statement. I'll definitely hire a attorney for the non-provisional application, thanks.
    – Maurice
    Commented Jul 16, 2023 at 19:43

You have something that has never been done before. ChatGPT has, therefore, not been fed any information about what it is, how it works, or what aspects are both commercially important and novel. You can try to supply that in your prompt and you might get a reasonable framework that could be edited to create a (possibly deceptively) good looking document.

Stand back and think about the actual case when a provisional actually helps you.

It is true that they are not subject to formal examination, so why worry about quality? Let’s look at the situation where there is a different outcome from having a provisional filed and not having it at all.

You have a non-provisional pending and you get a claim rejected that cites a publication that came out after the provisional but before the non-provisional. Unless this happens there is essentially no value in having filed the provisional.

The other case is you have made a public disclosure during that interim period and don’t put it on the IDS of the non-provisional because you think the provisional 100% covers you. Then it will not come up until you are in court trying to defend the patent and the sufficiently of the disclosure will be judged because the other side will bring it up.

You respond by referring to disclosure in the provisional that you assert fully supports the rejected claim. This is the first time the examiner (or court) opens the provisional. If the support in the provisional is solid, the publication is disqualified as prior art and you win.

However, the only time it matters that you even filed, the disclosure will be scrutinized exactly as it would be in a non-provisional. It is never literally “examined” but any disclosure you rely on will be examined seriously to see if the document teaches how to make and use the subject of the rejected claim, on its own.

If you file a provisional created by yourself or ChatGPT (an amazing feat of technology!) and act like you still need to keep the invention out of the public then it can only help in the unlikely case that it needs to be relied on.

I see that you do not want to tell ChatGPT the secret sauce. That makes sense since there is no confidentiality agreement between you and the people who have access to the ChatGPT prompts or may accidentally get access due to regurgitation. If you type in all the information it takes to make and use the invention you have likely broken novelty. In the US there is a one year grace period but elsewhere breaking novelty before filing kills a patent. For US purposes you could intentionally disclose fully in your prompt to try to get a better outcome.

Imagine you do not tell a patent attorney the secret sauce, do you think they can do a good job on your application regardless of their score on the USPTO bar?

  • what do you mean with IDS?
    – Maurice
    Commented Jul 17, 2023 at 19:54
  • 1
    An applicant is required to inform the USPTO of any prior art or public disclosure that they know of. The way to do it is on an Information Disclosure Statement form filed with or shortly after filing a non-provisional.
    – George White
    Commented Jul 17, 2023 at 23:22
  • Personally, I like this answer more than mine.
    – Eric S
    Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 0:21

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